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Should Priests confess to Government Authorities

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posted on Jan, 28 2005 @ 12:59 AM
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Wait I thought a priest isnt supposed to see the person confessing. I know when I went to confess I sat in a chair and the priest and I had our backs turned to each other so he could not see who I was. I also went to one where you would go into a door and talk through a screen. So how would the priest know who it is? Evan if he was going to break the confession oath(which would never happen) how would he know who it was?




posted on Jan, 28 2005 @ 01:01 AM
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He said that in our church, when he was ordained he signed a pact which is kept on file by the national church that he knows the church expects him to report any instances where he BELIEVES any person of any age MAY be in danger of physical/sexual abuse. He has to tell the police, and get a serial number from the cops and give it to the national church, as proof he reported it.

He is not required to tell people about this in counseling (we don't do 'confession' to others in private). But he is required to report it.

He said all ministers in our church have to go to training to spot abuse, and are told that if they coverup someone's abuse, the church will not defend them in court, and they will be defrocked.

I asked him how long the policy has been in place. He said he thought since the mid-to-late 90's.

He told me that in my state (Texas), it already is the law that all social workers, teachers, and religious leaders are to turn over to the police any info that one SUSPECTS child has been abused.

The minister or teacher is not supposed to pass judgement, but is supposed to call the cops and let them find the truth (their job, after all.)

He pointed out that a Catholic priest could do so; don't name the perp, just call and name the vic. That isn't divulging info on the perp. If the police connect the dots, well, that's what cops are for. . .



(why hasn't anyone else pointed this out on this thread? I think a lot of folks are more into bashing/defending religious institutions than they are into reducing abuse . . . )




posted on Jan, 28 2005 @ 01:11 AM
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if a priest where to say to the authorities what was said and who they were it would undermine the reconciliation process with God and drive people away from reconciling themselves with God and doing so offer no help to the person in the material and spiritual world it would also destroy the trust in the priest from the ocupant therfore destroying the point of advice last of all the person is less likly to comit again if they are truly sorry and repent for their sins oh and i am a Catholic



posted on Jan, 28 2005 @ 07:02 AM
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Originally posted by rexreynoldsr
it would undermine the reconciliation process with God and drive people away from reconciling themselves with God and doing so offer no help to the person in the material and spiritual world


Exactly. Very well said. Like it or not, even the criminals have souls
that God loves and wants to bring closer to Himself. That's the whole
point of confession ... repentance. Hopefully at some point if someone
has done something criminal, part of the repentance will be that they
turn themselves in. However, even if they don't, the criminal has a
soul and this may be their last hope for redemption.



posted on Jan, 28 2005 @ 07:04 AM
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Originally posted by Croat56
Wait I thought a priest isnt supposed to see the person confessing.


The person confessing usually has a choice - face to face or through
the confessional screen. Usually the little kids sit face to face ... and
most grown ups with 'biggie' sins use the screen. Usually.



posted on Jan, 28 2005 @ 07:17 AM
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Originally posted by shmick25
Firstly, people do not need to confide their sins in a man
and then be told it is ok if you do x,y,z. If you want spiritual
forgiveness, ask Christ.


You don't understand what Catholic Confession is
about. The person confessing and the priest BOTH ask Christ
to forgive the person confessing. (where two or more are
gathered ... God is there). Christ is definately the one who
died for sins and the one who forgiveness comes from while
in the confessional. For you to say that people don't need to
confide their sins in a man ... you are only half right. People
can go straight to God, however, Catholics believe that having
God's annointed with them in confession, helping them to
figure out why the sinned, what other sins they have committed,
and what they can do in the future not to sin IS what God wants.
(Confession was good enough for King David - he went to God's
annointed to confess his sins of murder and lust. He could have
gone straight to God and said he was sorry, but it was more
penitent to go to God's annointed and have them both ask
God for forgiveness for the sinner)
Confession is biblical and it is in sacred tradition. It's a very holy
thing and very pleasing to God. I suggest you go to the
Catholic Answers web site to read about what actually happens
in the Confessional. Don't listen to a protestant minister explain
it. Always go to the source to hear the truth about what someone
believes and why they believe it.

www.catholic.com...
www.catholic.com...
www.catholic.com...


[edit on 1/28/2005 by FlyersFan]



posted on Jan, 28 2005 @ 08:18 AM
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Originally posted by FlyersFan
That's the whole point of confession ... repentance. Hopefully at some point if someone has done something criminal, part of the repentance will be that they turn themselves in.

[Here we go again.] Hopefully? At some point? At what point? Seriously.. if your child were to be the next victim.. wouldn't you want your child's soul and life protected?
He has broken the law.
Do you think Catholics should be exempt from the law? You used the example of psychologist for non believers as comparable to confession.. that is confidential as well.. but they would still have to report it. Whats the difference? Why should Catholics be afforded special treatment?

However, even if they don't, the criminal has a soul and this may be their last hope for redemption.

So?



posted on Jan, 28 2005 @ 08:47 AM
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Originally posted by riley
He has broken the law.
Do you think Catholics should be exempt from the law?

However, even if they don't, the criminal has a soul and this may be their last hope for redemption.

So?


Sure, criminals have broken the law. So then, the law can
go after them. It's not the priests job or responsibility to
turn them in. It's his job to try to reconcile them to God and
save their souls. Part of that is counciling the sinner to turn
himself in and/or stop sinning.

Do I think Catholics should be exempt from the law? My
answer to you is - get real already.


And to answer (again) your SO? Like it or not, criminals have
souls. God wants them to repent and be saved. THAT is the
priests job, to help save souls. If he turned in people who
came to him for spiritual help and guidance, then those people
would stop coming to him and perhaps loose their souls forever
and/or never hear the words 'turn yourself in, or, get help'.
A soul lost is a soul lost ... and that isn't what God wants.
YOU may not care about that persons soul, but God does and the
priest's job is to help save ALL souls, and to especially go after
the lost sheep (leave the 99 in the flock and seek out and return
with the stray one).

You don't get it. Fine. WHATEVER. The priest is doing his job
and even if secular society doen't get it the priest will continue
to do his job - reaching out to the lost and trying to bring them
back. Like it or not, the criminals souls matter to God and to eternity.



posted on Jan, 28 2005 @ 09:07 AM
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Good job Flyersfan
You explained it where I couldnt
Hopefully they will now understand and stop calling Catholics evil.



posted on Jan, 28 2005 @ 09:08 AM
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Originally posted by babloyi
What is the point of priests reporting their confessions?
If they did, the criminals who do what they do, would just not confess.


There ya' go. Some common sense. If the everyone in America
suddenly was told that their confessions would be broadcast and
that they would be 'turned in' for crimes committed that they
confess ... then none would go to confession. What would be
the point?

When they go to confession there is a substantial chance that they can
be reached and have them stop and/or turn themselves in. Taking away confession would just take away the one avenue left for many of these people to get some advice on turning themselves in.

Forcing priests (and ministers by the way!) to tell what is confessed
to them, would just be ridiculous. You might as well hang a sign out
front of the church saying - 'come on in and tell me everything and
then I'll go to the cops and you'll be in big trouble'.
Yeah,
like that would work well.


I mentioned protestant ministers because THEY also have the right, by law,
not to reveal what is told to them in religious counciling. Take the
OJ case. Rosie Greer is now a protestant minister and he ministered to OJ
while OJ was in jail. Many people say that OJ confessed to murder
to Rosie Greer ... they say they overheard the jailhouse confession.
HOWEVER, Rosie Greer is NOT required by law to report anything
that is confessed to him because he is a minister. I agree with this.
Protestant ministers have the same rights as the Catholic priests do
to go after the lost sheep and to bring him back to God and to be a
council for him/her to turn themselves in as a sign of repentance.



posted on Jan, 28 2005 @ 09:10 AM
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Originally posted by FlyersFan
Sure, criminals have broken the law. So then, the law can
go after them. It's not the priests job or responsibility to
turn them in.

A priest is meant to be a moral person and has a duty to protect the community.. especially children

Do I think Catholics should be exempt from the law? My
answer to you is - get real already.

Yep. A non answer. The crim was probably CATHOLIC.. if he wasn't he may have gone to a shrink to clear his conscience instead- but I see you ignored that point. Obviously the answer is you do think they are entitle to special treatment.

And to answer (again) your SO? Like it or not, criminals have
souls. God wants them to repent and be saved.

We are talking about a child rapist. I have no pity for them.

THAT is the priests job, to help save souls.

And by keeping silent.. he is damning a child to a living hell.. yep- very moral.

If he turned in people who came to him for spiritual help and guidance, then those people would stop coming to him and perhaps loose their souls forever and/or never hear the words 'turn yourself in, or, get help'.

I doubt a priest would even say the words 'get help'.. most [not all] would say 'pray'.. besides which.. as you said it's not their duty to make sure they get treatent is it?


A soul lost is a soul lost ... and that isn't what God wants.

Do you honestly think your god would want more children to get raped because of the innaction of a priest?

God does and the priest's job is to help save ALL souls, and to especially go after the lost sheep (leave the 99 in the flock and seek out and return with the stray one).

So.. a child's soul is currency enough for a lost sheep? You are trading one for another.

You don't get it. Fine. WHATEVER.

Whatever?
er.. Go ricki! Go ricki.

The priest is doing his job and even if secular society doen't get it the priest will continue to do his job - reaching out to the lost and trying to bring them back. Like it or not, the criminals souls matter to God and to eternity.

Yeah right SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN.

Hmm.. I noticed you failed to answer the most important question.
What if it were your child who was the next victim?

[edit on 28-1-2005 by riley]



posted on Jan, 28 2005 @ 09:26 AM
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Like I said earlier in most confessions the priest does not evan see the face of the person that is confessing so therefor he would not evan know who to turn in so this whole arguement is irrelivent.



posted on Jan, 28 2005 @ 09:38 AM
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I have several people on this thread who I want to address.

First off, for the person who claims that I and others do not understand the catholic religion, and what confession is. I was born catholic, raised catholic. Unfortuneatly I was even an alter boy. I went to a catholic school until 8th grade. I was confirmed, and experiened all of the first catholic sacriments, including confession. I played football for a catholic school. I coached football for that school, even after I came to my views today. I fully understand all of the aspects and beliefs of a catholic. Do not assume I do not, because then you are foolish.

Second, to the person who said that my attacks on this situation are because I am anti religion. I am not anti-faith, but rather anti organized religion...and that means you didn't pay attention to my words as well as you thought you did. You also said that I believe that anyone who is religious is stupid. Wrong. I feel that anyone who blindly follows religious leaders without question is stupid. Most christians fall into that category yes, so sorry, but that is the way it is. I did not call anyone on this thread stupid for believing in God. I called everyone who DEFENDS A PRIESTS STUPID DECISION TO ALLOW A CHILD TO GET RAPED STUPID!!!

I cannot believe there is any debate on this subject at all. What that preist did, would put me in jail. If I knew a friend of mine was raping children, and kept it a secret, and it was later discovered I knew. I would be punished deservedly so. What kind of idiot can say it is OK to allow a child to get raped??? My God, doesn't anyone in here have children?

Like I said earlier as a response to the STUPID statement that we have freedom of religion, I should create my own. I will create my own belief system, and it will be free. My religion states that anyone who allows children to be raped should be killed. It also states that anyone who defends this type of action should be killed to. Should I be allowed to kill you because my religion says so??? According to those people defending this preist, I should. People who are attacking this, should I be allowed to kill, rape, steal, or commit any crime because my religion says so???? According to you, I should. What kind of lunatics are on this board? How could ANYONE DEFEND A CHILDS RAPE??????

Am I truly a minority in understanding the seriousness of this? Or am I one of many? Who here agrees with me? We need to stop the ignorance...

[edit on 1/28/2005 by Seapeople]



posted on Jan, 28 2005 @ 09:43 AM
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Originally posted by Croat56
Like I said earlier in most confessions the priest does not evan see the face of the person that is confessing so therefor he would not evan know who to turn in so this whole arguement is irrelivent.

The issue would not have come up at all if that were true.. which is why I suspect the priest knew him personally.. and why I do not think it was a by-the-book confession [where there is annonimity].


[edit on 28-1-2005 by riley]



posted on Jan, 28 2005 @ 09:57 AM
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Originally posted by Seapeople
How could ANYONE DEFEND A CHILDS RAPE??????
[edit on 1/28/2005 by Seapeople]


No one is defending raping children. We are defending confession. People confess other things. Rape isnt the only one. What if you were to confess to a priest that you pushed a mentally handicapped person(or any other terrible thing) and a priest told others that. Would you want the trust between you and the priest broken?



posted on Jan, 28 2005 @ 10:11 AM
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It doesn't matter what I wanted. This is a crime. You ask that question, and it isn't even relevant.

The only defense of this action is religion. Conceiling a crime in america for your friend makes you an accomplice. Punishment is often just as severe for accomplices as it is for the offender himself.

If you commit any crime, do you want someone to tell on you? No you don't. It doesnt take a brain surgeon to figure that out. So, that question you asked me isn't relevant.

On to your defense, you are not defending the rape, rather the religion as you said. In defending the religion though, you allow the crime to be commited repeatedly. So here is your question:

Answer it please if you dare:

My religion dictates I kill house dogs. Now, "not defending the action itself (as you claim)", is it safe to say that you defend that religions right to commit that crime, because it is a religion???? Please....answer it . You can't, because you will contradict yourself.



posted on Jan, 28 2005 @ 10:16 AM
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Its your religion not mine.



posted on Jan, 28 2005 @ 10:21 AM
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Originally posted by Croat56
No one is defending raping children.

No one is defending them FROM being raped.. they are defending the confessional.. I guess I must have my priorites mixed up but I think a child takes priority over a small room with a chair in it. You can't have it both ways and pretend it's still moral.

The result of your defending the luxury of confession is what grants a predator the freedom to reoffend.


[edit on 28-1-2005 by riley]



posted on Jan, 28 2005 @ 10:24 AM
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If they are in confession then they are sorry for their sins and want to repent. If they are truely sorry then they wont do it again. Thats what confession is for.



posted on Jan, 28 2005 @ 10:37 AM
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Wow, what a lot of emotion... and misunderstanding
The thing that is being passed over here is that when a person goes to confess something, it generally means that they want to repent.
As also mentioned, the confessor is generally hidden from the priest
Also, priests CAN attempt to convince the criminals to turn themselves in. Who said they wont?
Of course, if the same person repeatedly came to the priest and confessed to the same crimes, there could be a problem.




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